Birds, Plants and the Sea

There is a conservatory in Vancouver that is home to tropical, subtropical and desert plants all under its freestanding glass dome. It is both humid and lightly breezy as the air is circulated by large fans located, hidden from view, around the perimeter of the dome. The conservatory features unusual plants and everything has a sign for the curious.  What doesn't have a sign is the myriad of tropical birds flying within.  The conservatory has over 70 species of birds from all over the world and the abundance of colour is lovely to see. We spent a few hours sketching, sheltered from the rain in this breezy, green paradise.


Another day of pouring rain had us sheltering in the Aquarium watching fish glint and seemingly innocent anemones wave in the current. I did not know that they ate fish, crabs and snails. I thought they were filter feeders but no, they eat their prey whole, spit out the indigestible bits and expand back out into their flower-like pose. Starfish are voracious feeders as well, not only do they feed on mussels and barnacles but also spiny urchins!  


Ochre Starfish